Dannenbaum Law Firm, PLLC

When wives earn more, the risk of divorce increases

In marriages where the woman earns more money than the man, a lot of tension and complications can arise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wives make more than their husbands in about 38% of marriages involving heterosexual couples. Surveys from the Census Bureau show that this makes these couples uncomfortable as households will underreport the wife's income and overreport the husbands. Wives in Virginia and throughout the country are increasing their income relative to their husbands more than ever, creating problems in many marriages.

Traditional social attitudes about the financial roles of wives and husbands likely drives much of the friction in couples with disparate incomes, even in marriages with more of an emphasis on love than economics. Not only do marriages where the wife earns more lead to divorce more often, but unmarried couples where the woman earns more than the man are less likely to end tying the knot in the first place.

Despite women earning more in the workplace in recent years, men still earn far more than their counterparts, including unmarried men and women. The financial status of men has a big impact on their success during marriage as well as their perceived partnership and parenting abilities before marriage. Many men and women say that financial security is more important to them in a relationship than being madly in love.

For people facing the end of a marriage due to financial difficulties, having the assistance of an attorney can make the process of dividing assets less stressful. This applies to both breadwinners and ex-spouses who earned less or played the role as a stay at home parent. An attorney can advocate for the client's best interests by negotiating a fair settlement.

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